Album number 740 from Mr. Cooper kicks off in style with ‘I’m Alice’ and the first single lifted from the album. To be fair to Alice, he’s reinvented himself throughout his career with a shift to the left and a shuffle to the right but at the core, he’s always been a rock n rolla. His dalliance with sleazy glam rock in the 80s brought him back to the masses but the music didn’t hit the heights of his 70s pomp when he released the classic albums tinged with glam and garage rock namely Killers and Schools Out culminating in the classic welcome to my nightmare.
To be fair to the Coop he’s always pumped out albums every couple of years at least and over the last decade or so he took an introspective glance and returned to his garage roots churning out some very impressive albums.
Seemingly always on the road, it makes sense to get an album called The Road featuring his trusty band. Whilst this might not be as loyal to those garage roots and a heavier harder rockin’ record it has moments of pure Alice Cooper joy as well as the huge vaudeville moments. Also ends with a fairly decent take on the classic magic bus.
‘I’m Alice’ begins with the harmonising guitars before Alice croons in. Delivering a really good vocal for a solid opener. But these days it takes a while to get comfortable when playing albums from top to bottom. With a cheeky wink ‘I’m Alice’ sets the scene with the gang harmonised vocals and spoke verses it’s a bit of Alice from across the decades.
‘Welcome To The Show’ begins with the guitars during it out before the rhythm section puts the pedal to the metal and races off. Good energy and one no doubt aimed at the live setting.
‘All Over The World’ has a cool swaggering intro and some good harmonies setting the tone as Alice leads the band through the best song of the opening trio. Seemingly content with where he’s at these days Alice stays within his comfort zone and the horn stabs add a different variety to the harder rock edges it’s much better than the hard rock workout that is ‘Dead Done Dance’. The Zac Wyldd tone doesn’t help.
‘Go Away’ sets off at a rapid pace and Alice noticeably sings really well. The slide guitar work works really well here. When Alice does heavy I can take it or leave it usually but at times it works really well. ‘White Line Frankenstein’ again messes with his tried and trusted touring lyrics and horror fascination all in one tune. The riff is loud n dirty and works well. Good song.
‘Big Boots’ with the added piano chops and funky bass line is where the album gets going. Alice playing some old-school garage rock ‘n’n roll is where he excels for me this past few years. The vocal delivery is spot on and his storytelling qualities step to the fore. The highlight so far no question.
‘Rules Of The Road’ is yet more shuffle in a shit house garage rock n roll where Alice borrows the DNA of milk and alcohol and rocks it up with some pretty sweet guitar noodling to please the guitar fans out there. Reminds me a bit of hanoi rocks on their CBS ‘Two Steps’ album the DNA thread is also in there folks trust me.
‘The Big Goodbye’ is another of the heavy tracks on offer but has a decent melody and the chorus is really good. With thirteen tracks on offer even if one is a cover albeit a decent take on a classic, Cooper’s creative juices continue to flow and all power to him for that. ‘Road Rats Forever’ harks back to his 70s prime and is another of the album’s best moments as he looks in the rearview mirror but with a modern twist.
If your wondering where the Alice Cooper power ballad might be on this record then you win no prize for looking through the song titles and picking out ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ and to be fair this one is pretty decent with a great vocal and I like the acoustic strum with the rhythm section kicking back. One of his better power ballads to be fair.
As we head for the final destination we have one pre-pit stop workout in the shape of ‘100 More Miles’ and Alice gets all creepy crawly for his Tom Waits intro and rock out mixing classic 70s Coop into the 21st century before kicking out the jams with a trip home on ‘The Magic Bus’ as he pays tribute to one of his favourite bands and prob fav tune. All in all a decent album. with some really good songs for Alice Cooper as he goes from tour to album to tour to album and shows no sign of slowing down and all power to him I hope there’s plenty more in the tank he puts bands half his age to shame with his work rate and quality. Long live the Coop and all who ride with him.